Browns-Eagles: Personnel and Strategy

Prepare for The Freak: Jevon Kearse

Match-ups to watch and other player news heading into Sunday's game...

STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL

The Browns swapped receivers with Dallas, trading Quincy Morgan for Antonio Bryant at the trading deadline.

Morgan underachieved in Cleveland. This year, he had only nine catches. Bryant had only 16 catches (in one fewer game), but the Browns believe he has more upside. In Dallas, Bryant was stuck behind Terry Glenn and Keyshawn Johnson and clearly in Bill Parcells' doghouse after throwing a sweaty practice jersey at the coach during minicamp.

At 23, Bryant is still maturing on and off the field. He is under contract through 2005. Morgan would have become a free agent after this season.

The Browns promoted Frisman Jackson from the practice squad to provide depth at receiver and also signed offensive lineman Javiar Collins. Collins spent three years as a backup for Dallas.

To make room, the Browns waived running back/kick returner Dee Brown and offensive lineman Bo Lacy.

It's not known who'll return kicks for Cleveland with Brown gone. Andre King is the most likely candidate, though the Browns may be reluctant to use him in that capacity because he's likely to start at receiver this week. Running back James Jackson is another possibility, though he has seldom if ever returned kickoffs.
 

PLAYER/PERSONNEL NOTES:

  • LB Barry Gardner did not practice this week and won't play this week because of a groin injury.
     
  • RG Kelvin Garmon did some limited things in individual drills but did not practice with the team. He sustained a quadriceps strain and a concussion against the Bengals. He said he expects to play Sunday.
     
  • WR Andre Davis has a sprained big left toe. He was in a cast Wednesday, but also expressed optimism he might be ready Sunday.
     
  • G Paul Zukauskas was inactive last week in part because of a sprained knee, but he should be able to play Sunday.
     
  • CB Daylon McCutcheon had to leave the game Sunday briefly because he took a blow to his broken middle finger, but he returned and is certain to play Sunday.
     
  • QB Jeff Garcia faced the Eagles in each of the last three seasons while with San Francisco. He completed 58 of 104 passes for 645 yards with five touchdowns and no interceptions.
     
  • PK Phil Dawson is 13 for 13 this season on field-goal attempts, extending his streak of consecutive kicks to 23. That's the longest current streak in the NFL and is Dawson's personal best. Dawson is the most accurate kicker in Browns history, making 97 of 116 career attempts (83.6 percent).

BY THE NUMBERS: 390. Number of yards Donovan McNabb threw for in Philadelphia's victory over Cleveland in 2000.

GAME PLAN: This would be a tough game under any circumstances for the Browns. The trade of Morgan makes it even more difficult. That's not because Morgan is a great player - he isn't - but because his departure leaves the Browns very thin at receiver with Andre Davis' availability in question. If Cleveland is to pull the upset, William Green and/or Lee Suggs will have to have a big game. Defensively, the Browns must find a way to put pressure on McNabb, which won't be easy. Then, of course, the Browns must contain Terrell Owens.

MATCHUPS TO WATCH:

  • Browns CB Anthony Henry, who has three interceptions this season, vs. Eagles WR Terrell Owens. Henry has played well this year for the most part. Henry had primary responsibility on Owens last year when the Browns played San Francisco. Though Owens had eight catches for 90 yards, Henry kept him from taking over the game. Henry has the size and strength to match up with Owens and has a knack for making plays on the ball.
     
  • Browns OL, which has given up 14 sacks, vs. Eagles DL, which has 20 sacks. The pass protection has slowly gotten better, but they haven't faced many pass rushes as tough as the Eagles. Defensive coordinator Jim Johnson is a master at confounding blocking schemes, and the Browns don't have the most athletic group of linemen around. Right tackle Ryan Tucker is the best of the Browns' linemen. He'll face a stern test from Jevon Kearse, who's far quicker than Tucker.

INJURY IMPACT:

  • WR Andre Davis might be able to play despite a sprained toe, but his speed - his best asset - will be affected, and he'll have a hard time making sharp cuts.
     
  • RG Kelvin Garmon's strained quadriceps will limit his mobility, and the lack of quickness is his biggest liability even when healthy.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "The four deuces were here. It was, `Four deuces and a guy'. I was `a guy'. (Now) the guy gets a shot." -- WR Andre King, when asked about his rise from being a seventh-round draft pick to starter status after being stuck behind four second-round draft picks for most of his career.

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